People have a deep, biological desire to love and be loved and accepted for who they are. How many times have you encouraged your spouse to tell you what’s wrong? Next, ask yourself, do you really want to know?
‘Of course I want to know!’ I can hear you saying to me, but I’m asking you to be honest. If you’ve had a fight after receiving their response, chances are there is a part of you that really didn’t want to know.
Fear of genuine knowledge.
Another biological response we possess is to protect ourselves. It was a necessity, a survival tactic… yet when it comes to modern relationships, protection often means hiding our true self.
Fear of rejection.
If our partner knows ‘too much’, will s/he still love us? If we give them the power to hurt us or reject us, we ultimately must give up some amount of control. If our partner doesn’t like what they see, is the cost something with which I can live?
Risking your heart.
Recently someone offered the following wisdom that I’d like to share with you: If you don’t commit totally, you can’t fail.
Without risk, we can’t thrive. The more we share with our partner, the greater the opportunity to gain that love and acceptance we crave so deeply. Any time we initiate another step toward opening up and revealing our true selves, it’s going to be a little scary. Yet it’s important to realize that is also incredibly rewarding.
3 Tips for Strengthening Communication
- Stay open and honest. Baby steps as you reveal information is okay, but honesty is non-negotiable.
- Encourage your partner to share him or herself with you, but only if you are prepared to react with love and grace. You don’t have to like what’s said and some things may be hard to hear, however, communication lines can only remain open when our partner feels safe.
- Express how you feel without blame. Your partner didn’t make you do anything —how you react is up to you.